Following an impressive spinning elbow knockout of John Hathaway in Saturday’s The Ultimate Fighter China Finale main event, Korean fighter Dong Hyun Kim has placed himself near the top of the UFC’s list of welterweight title contenders.
It’s a position he’s been in before, but was unable to capitalize on.
With the victory over Hathaway, Kim has now won four consecutive bouts, adding to wins over Erick Silva, Siyar Bahadurzada, and Paulo Thiago.
He’s now ready for whatever challenge the UFC sets before him, but also believes that he has better prepared himself for a title shot.
“I’ve continued to stack up the wins, but yet I wasn’t given the title shot [in the past],” said Kim. “I decided for me to get a title shot, I was gonna have to change the way that I fight. So I decided to get more aggressive and hopefully I’ll get noticed and we’ll get a shot at the title.”
Throwing caution to the wind, Kim said he doesn’t really worry much about losses anymore, but puts everything on the line to win and try to finish the fight.
He also believes that he is positioned to do that because he has developed his game to the point where he can match skills with anyone in the division.
Former champion Georges St-Pierre recently relinquished his belt to take a break from fighting. The UFC matched Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler to fight for the vacated title, and Kim believes the changes that he’s made to his game make him a candidate to fight the winner of that fight or any other challenger the UFC sets before him.
“I don’t really care who the opponent is going to be,” said Kim. “When it comes to grappling or wrestling, I think I am one of the best. I have no problem going up against Johny Hendricks when it comes to grappling or wrestling. I don’t think anyone can take me down.
“When it comes to striking, whoever gets knocked out will get knocked out. When I hit somebody, I will be sure that I knock them out.”
The UFC has yet to say who will get the first crack at the winner of Hendricks vs. Lawler, but with his knockout finish on Saturday, Kim certainly put his name in the running.